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ITHA Election Ballots are Out

 

The 2015 ITHA Election Ballots have been sent out by our auditor. The only contested race is for Owner-Only Director where three candidates are vying for the two available positions. Incumbent Mike Campbell is running unopposed for President. Incumbents Chris Block and Tom Swearingen along with Manny Perez are running unopposed for three Trainer/Owner-Trainer Director positions. 

Return ballots must be mailed and postmarked on or before December 1, 2015 to be counted. The Election Committee has tentatively scheduled the vote count for the morning of December 9, 2015 at Hawthorne. 

The following are the statements of the candidates for Owner-Director:

 

THOMAS A. FEDRO, SR.   

Whether it was in my 13-month tour of duty in Vietnam, or my many years as a customer engineer and marketing representative for IBM, I always rose to the occasion and completed all of my tasks with distinction.  In fact, I did so well at IBM that I was able to retire at age 48, which allowed me to pursue my true passion – horse racing.  It is this type of zeal that I wish to bring to the Board. I have owned horses since 1992 and am well versed on all aspects of the sport.

Illinois racing is now at a crossroad. We're not the great racing state we used to be. We've surrendered our place at the top as other states have created more favorable conditions for making money. We must change that. With the right leadership, and with proper attention to generating revenue and spending it wisely, we can. We can also re-establish Illinois' prominence in the horse racing industry. We need to keep our industry not only afloat- but thriving.

Folks, I believe in Illinois racing. I have a passion for our sport and I'm well-versed in all aspects of it. I'm focused on doing what's best to keep our tradition strong. I share your love for racing and want to make sure your voice is heard. The status quo gets us nowhere fast.  A passion for competition runs deeply in all of us. We don't give up. We’ll do what must be done to succeed. With your help, I'll be on the front lines to make sure that we do.

My name is Thomas Fedro Sr. and I humbly ask that you support me in my bid to become an ITHA board member. 

 

STEVEN A. HOLLAND   

I am a candidate for re-election to the Board of Directors of the ITHA based on my twenty-three years of Board experience.

The accomplishments of the ITHA in the past three years include:

  • Supporting the successful Galloping Out program to provide horses that are done racing with a new career – I serve on its Board

  • Dramatically improving the ITHA’s political effectivity and public relations capability, both necessary in the Illinois political environment

  • Continuing to be a major part of passing a bill out of the Illinois legislature for gaming at the tracks that will significantly increase purses, eliminate recapture, and preserve live racing.

Moving forward, our MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITY is increasing purses, which is necessary to keep us competitive with other racing locations and to protect our investments in Illinois racing. Most such actions are legislatively or IRB controlled, so we must have an ITHA Board that is strong in supporting the ITHA President in Springfield and in IRB and track negotiations.

Our short-term goals to improve racing purses in Illinois include:

  • securing alternate gaming at race tracks and ensuring that the horsemen gain a fair share.

  • negotiating a fair share of ADW revenue as this legislation comes up for renewal.

  • mitigating the effects of the State Legislature not funding “recapture.”

My many years of experience on the Board, my understanding of the (unbelievably complex) existing racing law and the workings of Springfield, and my family’s participation in both breeding and racing enable me to offer the Board the historical perspective of how things became what they now are, the foresight to avoid repeating past actions that were fruitless, and constructive advice on rebuilding Illinois racing. 

 

HOMER SCHAFER

I am excited about the opportunity to serve as an owner director of the ITHA. I have been in the horse racing business for over 30 years between thoroughbred and harness, and still maintain a trainer license.

I have been with the Dee Poulos stable for 10 years and it we have had quite a bit of success. I will continue to run in Illinois and support the horsemen and do everything I can to bring racing back to what it was in prior years.  I have a very good relationship with all of the ITHA current members as well as other owners and trainers.

I have been on the Chicago Horseman Benevolence Committee for almost 5 years working with Tom Shea and our board.  I feel we have done a great job supporting the back stretch with their needs.  We have also put together Christmas parties and picnics for the backstretch, without them it would be hard for us to enjoy the sport we love.

I am very committee to this and will work hard on the items we have on the table so that we can enjoy racing in the state of Illinois.  Feel free to stop me and discuss anything at any time when you see me.  Thanks for the support and I look forward to meeting and supporting all of you.